On Tuesday, John Hartung, Chief Financial Officer of Chipotle Mexican Grill said that the food chain was raising menu prices by three and a half to four percent as it had to compensate for the raise that it is giving its workers. As the pandemic subsides across the nation, workers have not returned to the pre pandemic levels. The CFO was speaking to an analyst about the changes.
As the world is slowly opening up global food prices have increased. Shortages of chicken and other commodities and rise in ingredient costs have been seen across the nation. The demand has increased as the restricted opening of outdoor and indoor dining and other activities has brought back customers in droves.
In May, Chipotle had announced a $15 per hour wage for its workers by the end of June. They said they were looking to hire 20,000 new employees over the summer. Other fast-food chains had also increased wages. McDonalds had announced a wage hike in April. Darden Restaurants the chain which runs Olive Garden was one of the first to announce wage revisions, in March, in a bid to attract workers. Starbucks has also increased wages.
Chipotle has said that it is also offering a $200 referral bonus to workers who help them recruit new staff. Referral bonuses were uncommon before the pandemic but as conditions somewhat eased and restrictions were partially lifted, rider-hailing apps including Lyft and Uber had also seen less drivers rejoin the platforms. They also offered bonuses and better wages. There has been a labor crunch across the nation.
Chipotle has also been under investigation from April when New York City sued the chain for breaking state labor laws. A spokesperson refused to comment on litigation when asked by CNN though there was a comment that said the suit was “a dramatic overreach.”